The world we live in has become extraordinarily complex, and the sheer range and quantum of problems has increased exponentially, leaving us dazed, befuddled and often helpless. However, the future, whether we consciously help create it or not, is around the corner, and inevitable!
Even as we, at Meta-Culture, work on issues of conflict and complex consensus building, we have also been interested in creating platforms and spaces for constructive engagement within our own city-Bangalore. The citizens of this city, like their counterparts across India and elsewhere, have in the past two decades, had their lives turned upside down by large political, cultural, religious, technological and economic forces. By some estimates, Bangalore could, because of a dearth of water and power, unmanageable traffic, and the complete collapse of services like garbage collection, law and order, well become unlivable in a decade or less.
The Alternative Futures Dialogue (AFD) is a 7-month long Leadership in Dialogue program that is offered on a selective basis to citizen leaders in Bangalore who are concerned about and willing to invest in the future of their city and India. AFD aims to create mature and constructive public conversations around the kind of future we as a society would like to develop.
AFD is a professionally designed and facilitated dialogue, enabling participants to discuss and develop their own ideas and conceptions of a desired future, in a constructive and creative space. This form of deep sharing and exploration is not common in our society where most conversations quickly become impatient, angry and adversarial attempts to ‘win’ the argument or worse still, destroy and humiliate the other. This is true not just amongst politicians, but also amongst activists, business folk, academics and even our‘ intellectuals’. The facilitators will enable focused and satisfying conversations where people will have time to not just talk; but listen, clarify, explain and reflect upon what is being said.